AW: FW: Corrections to historic German timezone information

Sebastian Wangnick sebastian.nospam01 at
Tue Jan 29 18:18:12 UTC 2008

Dear Paul,

I understand your concern. As proposed, the timezone Europe/Berlin would be applicable for the "western" countries of the state of Germany and the western part of Berlin, and Europe/BerlinEast for what was formerly first the Sowjet zone and later the state GDR, namely the "eastern" countries of the state of Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen) and the eastern part of Berlin. Creation of individual timezones for each of the countries of Germany is thus unneccessary.

However, if you can maintain only one timezone for the state of Germany, you should probably use the new definition of Europe/Berlin, limiting the error in 1945 to the smaller territory and population, but please note that this would be considered politically incorrect by said population. In this case we will privately maintain a modified copy of the tz database.

Kind regards,
Sebastian Wangnick

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Paul Eggert [mailto:eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU] 
Gesendet: Dienstag, 29. Januar 2008 01:00
An: Sebastian Wangnick
Cc: tz at
Betreff: Re: FW: Corrections to historic German timezone information

Thanks for doing that research.  By design the tz database has
separate entries only for regions that are in different countries now,
or where clocks have diverged since 1970.  This is to economize on our
maintenance effort.  Otherwise, we would need hundreds of zones just
for Indiana, and thousands worldwide; our lives are too short to
maintain all that stuff.

Because of this rule, the 1945 divergence doesn't justify having two
separate entries for Berlin.  However, we should have the correct
entry for Berlin, which raises the question: where is the commonly
accepted center of Berlin?  If the center is in the former Soviet
zone, tz's Europe/Berlin should use what is in the proposed
Europe/BerlinEast zone.  If Berlin's center is in the former
west-Berlin zone, Europe/Berlin should change to match what is in the
proposed Europe/Berlin zone.

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